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I’ve taught “Finding Sanctuary” from David’s amazing Psalm 27: Praying our Sanctuary. English “sanctuary” comes from Latin sanctus, meaning holy: a sacred space (our heart) set aside for God, to encounter him in safety and sanctity. Sanctuary is essentially escaping into God’s presence (his heart), to be with him.
David’s instruction is simple (v.4): Wrestle down your life and lifestyle to do one thing above all others, “One thing have I desired: that I may dwell in the Lord’s sanctuary all the days of my life, to gaze upon his beauty, to seek him in his sanctuary.” To build your heart/life into a sanctuary for God, where HE is our sanctuary, is THE most important thing in life! Carve out a time and place for personal sanctuary in your daily life. Jesus said of Mary, “Only one thing is needed; she has chosen it – it will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42).
This theme is inspired by Abbot Christopher Jamison’s book “Finding Sanctuary”, on how St Benedict’s Rule of Community (6th century) helps us to build sanctuary in our hearts, from which all of life flows (Prov 4:23).
How do we do this? We build/find sanctuary via 7 steps. Before we begin step one we have to slow down to make a decision to build sanctuary in our busy lives. Then we find and enter the Door of Virtue – the door to our hearts – which doesn’t mean becoming morally pure. Rather, Jamison says, “if we see virtue as simply the right way to live, no matter what the cost, then virtue is sacred. Virtue is recognising the sacred in daily life”, seeing God in all things (Matt 5:8). Enter the door of virtue to build sanctuary by doing these steps… Continue reading Finding Sanctuary Talk 3
Recap: The Practice of The Word and Daily Devotions
Our highest value is our relationship with God: following Jesus in daily intimacy.
Our first priority and practice that makes it a reality is the discipline of The Word of God. Why ‘The Word’? Because it’s God’s self-revelation to us. Jesus is the Living Word, God’s full self-revelation. The Bible is God’s Spirit-inspired written Word or self-revelation – having power to transform us as we daily read, study, meditate, and memorize it.
We ‘do the Word’ in these four ways – placing ourselves under the Word’s authority – by having daily devotions or “quite time” with God. Do you have a specific time and place set apart to encounter God in prayer and The Word? To the extent we consistently engage in that time and activity the Spirit progressively transforms us. The affect of a long obedience in the same direction accumulates into fruit-full growth in Christ’s mind and character.
HOW do we have a regular “quiet time” with God? HOW do we make it meaningful? There are two major reasons why many Christians don’t have daily focused time with God: they don’t know what to do (“it’s boring!), and due to lifestyle choices (“I’m too busy”). CS Lewis says it’s laziness: we allow other people/things to determine our REAL daily priorities and practices because we are too lazy to set our own – life lives us, we don’t live life! The deeper issue, of course, is spiritual sickness, lack of hunger, loss of love for Jesus. As Pedro Arrupe SJ says: “What or who are you in love with determines everything: what gets you out of bed in the morning, what you read, how you spend your time, who you relate to… fall in love with Jesus, stay in love with Jesus, and it will determine everything in your life!”
The Latin Lectio (reading) Divina (Divine) refers to a tried and tested Christian practice of encounter with God in the Word and prayer. It means “spiritual reading” or “reflective and responsive reading of the Bible”. It gives a simple framework to spend 30 minutes of daily quality time with God. Rooted in the Hebrew tradition of Torah prayer-meditation, the monks from the 4th century began to practice Lectio – some for hours a day. Monk Guido II (14th century) was the first to record the framework of Lectio Divina in the four steps of lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio. I will add a few NOTES… here we go… Continue reading Following Jesus by Practicing the Word – Part Two
Today, Wednesday 5 Sept, Gill and I fly to the Netherlands and the US to teach at the Vineyard Leadership Institute. VLI operates in both Europe and the US. I will be lecturing a few courses: Healing 1 (Equipping to Minister Healing in the Power of the Spirit) and Healing 2 (Receiving Healing in Six Dimensions), and Doing Reconciliation (The Gospel Mandate of Reconciliation in regard to social transformation, and specifically in regard to racism, classism and sexism). This will be besides ministering at the weekend services in Amsterdam Vineyard, and in Columbus Vineyard in Ohio, USA.
I want to share our itinerary and preaching/lecturing times (below) as a request for prayer – and this schedule includes our trip to do a weekend conference at Newton Park Methodist Church and to speak at the Vineyard National Conference in Port Elizabeth at the end of September. I will be stretched to the outside limit of my stamina in taking on this intense teaching and traveling schedule (Gill has berated me for accepting so my commitments!! But she is traveling with me as a support and especially to keep me in check!! Help me Jesus!!)
So we covet your prayers for God’s protection and supernatural strength, stamina and good health. And of course pray that God may anoint me to teach his Word with great boldness and authority, and that he will stretch out his hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders in the name of his holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:29-30). Thank you! We are very grateful for prayer – we can do nothing without Jesus! Continue reading Prayer Request: Following Jesus to Netherlands & USA